I guess this is how Republicans do the Latino-outreach thing: Demonize Latino children, threaten to take away their birthright citizenship, and blatantly lie about the numbers of "anchor babies" being born by mothers coming here specifically to have citizen children.
Here's Sen. David Vitter yesterday on Fox News, promoting his new federal bill to strip American-born children of undocumented immigrants of their birthright citizenship:
VITTER: It's a very real problem. About 200,000 women come into this country annually from other countries legally, with a tourist visa, something like that, to give birth in this country so that child can automatically become a U.S. citizen. 200,000 a year!
I'm guessing that Vitter's source for this number is either somewhere up his own nether regions, or those of hate groups such as FAIR and CIS that pump out fake statistics like this for eager Latino-bashers like Vitter and his three Senate colleagues to regurgitate into policy.
Because, as ABC News explained in their own report on this legislation:
Of the 4.2 million live births in the United States in 2006, the most recent data gathered by the National Center for Health Statistics, only 7,670 were children born to mothers who said they do not live here.
Some of those mothers could be "baby tourists," experts say, but many could be foreign college students, diplomatic staff, or vacationers. The government does not track the reasons non-resident mothers are in the United States at the time of the birth or their citizenship.
Indeed, as the story notes, the "anchor baby" problem is a statistical pimple:
"There's no evidence that birth tourism is a widespread problem," said Michele Waslin, a senior policy analyst with the Immigration Policy Center. "There are ways to dealing with that issue without such sweeping changes. This is like using a sledgehammer, not a scalpel."
[T]his is a sick joke. Surveys of undocumented workers have made indelibly clear that they don't come here to have "anchor babies," or to get our free health care, or any of the other fantasies harbored by nativists: they come here for jobs.
Moreover, there's no serious benefit to be had from having your child be born a citizen -- because under American law, you can be deported anyway, and in fact thousands of parents of American birthright-citizen children are deported every year: 100,000 of them over 10 years, to be precise.